25 March 2016
It smelled like coffee today on the highway. I opened my window to sense the breeze on my face.
The never-ending hideous tail of the car monster was huffing and puffing for kilometres on end.
I was late for my training. I was listening to my kids’ quarrel when calling my husband to check on
them. He had heard the news. I heard the news… everybody had heard the news.
The authorities decided to lower the security threat level to three out of four. It sounded
reassuring. At first. My common sense education taught me to… trust the system. I did. Until
Every hour from then on we got to hear what the mistakes were in the procedure to capture the
terrorists, how they managed to escape and elude a highly proficient… and somehow less
efficient security system, how politics was shouting loud looking for the ones at fault…how people
were looking for confirmation that ‘they were right, they knew it all the time.’
It hurt. The stomach ached. I had just brought the kids for the dentist appointment. The doctor’s
words stay still with me:
“Is everyone in your family safe? Are you ok? How are the boys taking it?” God bless, we are
“You know, she continued, an old university friend went to visit her family abroad on Tuesday.
She will never come back… She left two twins at home…” I swallowed. My throat got painful. My
head dropped. I could not find words to comfort her sorrow. I just said…I am sorry. I hope you
find the strength and the faith to overcome this moment.
Back in the same car that got stuck on the highway I was trying to understand the sudden rush
on the roads. I passed by the secured landing runway area of the airport. No bird, no plane, no…
photographers on watch… Grey silence outside. The radio inside: the airport would be closed
until next Monday; all flights redirected on complementary airports; rush time as people were
leaving on holiday… interminable security controls on the way and…a whole area in the middle of
Brussels had been locked down. One of the presumed suspects in the attacks from Monday had
been shot. A little girl was accompanying him.
At that point I decided I would not go to the training. It felt like something hitting me deep inside. I
could not put the finger on it. I was so stuck in the middle of the highway, a vertebra in the car
I made broccoli soup for dinner. My kids hate it. I enjoyed them making disgusted grimaces when
tasting it. I enjoyed every naughty gesture, every single ‘No’ I heard, every: ‘I’m done. How many
spoons left?’ I enjoyed my husband getting frustrated with the fidgeting. I loved the dog barking
at the cat. I loved the cat spitting the dog. I loved the mess in the kitchen. I loved it all. I still do. I
am thankful for having this chance of caring, of being cared for, of being cared about.
Life is about perspectives and timing. What annoyed me yesterday is a blessing today as… so
many of us lost their tomorrow on the 22nd of March.
It’s a holy day today… Be good, be generous, be brave.
Remember, Life is about Light and Love.